What we are seeing here has kind of happened before. In the 19th century there was a Catholic clergyman named Manning whose desire to rise to the top resulted in a degree of sliminess and sycophancy at which a Jacob Rees-Mogg could only wonder.
Manning wanted to be a Cardinal. Cardinals are appointed by the Pope. So Manning became ultra-Papist.
But Popes are surrounded by expert flatterers, who speak the language. How could Manning distinguish himself against such powerful opposition? His solution was near-genius. He aligned himself with the idea of Papal infallibility.
No need to find excuses to visit Rome constantly (though he did find an agent there.) How could you flatter a Pope more than suggest he is infallible? And yet it doesn't look like plain flattery because it hides under a veneer of Catholic doctrine.
So Manning became a Cardinal...
Barr seems to be trying the same thing. He has suggested that Trump should have even more power and be a kind of dictator, because Trump is so wonderful. Trump laps it up. And every idea that enters Trump's rather inadequate mind, Barr hails as the Second Coming. Including encryption backdoors.
Of course when it was clear Manning would be a cardinal he acquired his own train of bootlickers and bottom kissers. As Barr becomes associated with ultra-Trumpism, expect more people who know better to support his, and Trump's, idiocy. It won't affect them. They have people to deal with it. But the money, the fame, the well paid directorships, the high fees for public speaking will surely follow.
And now Johnson is in a position to go down exactly the same route. He's going to go full Barr. After all, it means the British government can uncover wrongthink too.
Trump is becoming a Mikado, and we, the ordinary people of the world, are all fucked.
I guess this is a rant, but it's a rant based on historical parallels.